Writing A Nonet Poem



A Nonet refers to a group of nine.

In music, a nonet refers to a composition that requires nine musicians for a performance and in poetry it refers to a composition which comprises of nine lines.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yes it is. But what tests your poetic calibre yet again is the ‘syllable count’. Write Tribe has already brought out the best in us with its Haiku Tutorial and contest and so, I am pretty sure that writing a nonet poem is going to be easy for you.

I have tried to search for the origin and history of this form of poetry but I couldn’t find anything. I guess, nonet poems have not  yet got the status they deserve. I am no expert on this form of poetry, but it’s a form that’s  very close to my heart.  That’s because some of my best poems are written in this form. I hope my tutorial helps you.  Since I couldn’t find too much information, please feel free to add anything that you know about this form of poetry.

Let’s start  our tutorial.

To put it simply, a nonet is a nine line poem. . A nonet can be written on any subject and rhyming is optional. The poem starts with a line that has 9 syllables in it. The second line contains 8 syllables, the third line has 7 syllables and it continues to count down to one syllable in the final line (ninth line)

Let us understand this form of poetry with the help of an example. Here, I present the  first nonet poem I had written in 2008. To my surprise,  it started off a chain of nonet poem  posts. Ah, those golden days of blogging. 😉

The Birth
A call was heard from inside the womb.
Wrapped in love, Entity arrives-
Celebratious homecoming.
Life marked in divine light.
Doors of horizon-
Welcomes the Birth.
Love and Hope

Line 1: 9 syllables- A/call/was /heard/from/in/side/the/womb.
Line 2: 8 syllables- Wrapped/in/love,/En/ti/ty/ar/rives
Line 3: 7 syllables- Ce/le/bra/tious/home/com/ing.
Line 4: 6 syllables- Life/marked /in/di/vine/light.
Line 5: 5 syllables- Doors/of /ho/ri/zon-
Line 6: 4 syllables- Wel/comes/the/Birth.
Line 7: 3 syllables- Love/and/Hope
Line 8: 2 syllables- Ush/ers
Line 9: 1 syllables- Joy

Nonet poems can also be written in the ascending form – reverse nonet poetry.  ere, you start the first line with one syllable and end it with 9 syllables

You can also write a nonet poem by joining nonet and reverse nonet form. Here, the poem will have two stanzas. If the first stanza starts with the nonet form, the second stanza will have the reverse nonet form and vice-versa. Subjects generally chosen here are contrary to each other. For example, sunrise v/s sunset, good v/s evil, past v/s present, etc.  However, I don’t think it is essential to write on subjects that are contrary to each other. In place of ‘contrary’, you can choose to show change, growth, improvement.
Some of the things to keep in mind while writing a nonet poem are:

  • It is all about syllables. There is no limit to the usage of words.
  • It could be on any subject and it need not have any rhyme or meter.
  • A very important aspect of a nonet is an easy flow and a complete thought.
  • Each line is usually a complete phrase.
  • Focus on nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. Don’t waste too many syllables on conjunctions or prepositions.
  • Make sure each line is meaningful – don’t break lines in a way that it does not have a meaning.
  • Avoid filler words in order to complete the syllable count.
  • Keep usage of punctuation to the  bare minimum.

Let’s try out a nonet poem, shall we?

The subject? Your choice. The only catch is – it must be close to your heart. If possible do let us know why you hold the subject close to your heart. (This may or may not be a part of your poem. If the reason is not a part of the poem, mention it somewhere in the post.)

I look forward great participation from you.

Happy writing!

Preetilatha Sarkar


Till the time I come up with the right words to describe myself, let us believe that in between the layers of ordinary and extraordinary, there exists one separate world. I rule there.

Still interested to know more about me? Then peep in through My White Window.





24 Thoughts

  1. I tried one, was a clumsy attempt. But nevertheless, I will publish and link it tomorrow as today I’ve already updated my blog once. I am hoping suggestions and tips by Tribers will help me to become better at it. Peace. 🙂 🙂


  2. Pingback: Home – A Nonet | Throo Da Looking Glass

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